A GreenCube Self Storage facility has opened in the Ottery area of Cape Town, South Africa. It is the first commercial property in Africa to use eco-friendly insulating concrete formwork (ICF) in its construction, company officials said in a press release. One of the environmentally friendly benefits of the insulated building technique is the creation of even temperatures year-round, helping to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint, officials said.
Developed in Germany in the early 1950s, “ICF is based on hollow, lightweight block components that lock together without intermediate bedding materials, such as mortar, to provide a formwork system into which concrete is poured. The block is formed of sheets of insulation materials, normally expanded polystyrene tied together with plastic or steel ties or an integral web of the same insulation,” according to the U.K.-based Insulating Concrete Formwork Association.
The facility is on 1.31 acres at the corner of Plantation Road and Bamboesvlei Road, near residential and commercial customers. It is comprised of 303 storage units in various sizes up to 18 square meters. Amenities include a security system and access control.
In addition to its construction approach, GreenCube is participating in various green initiatives, including Harvest of Hope, an urban agriculture program set up by Abalimi Bezekhaya, an environmental-action organization dedicated to agricultural and environmental support in South African townships such as Khayelitsha and Nyanga. Abalimi helps individuals, groups and communities to initiate and maintain sustainable organic-food growing programs as a food and economic source.
GreenCube will purchase a vegetable plant from Abalimi for each storage unit that is leased, with the plants given to the leasing tenant, GreenCube officials said.
The company has also partnered with the tree-planting group Greenpop to assist with the social enterprise’s storage needs. Greenpop works to bring together communities and corporations to run urban-greening and reforestation projects in South Africa and Zambia. To date, it has overseen the planting of more than 40,000 trees, GreenCube officials said.
“GreenCube aims to promote a variety of community projects and, in doing so, hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of both our customers and those less fortunate,” said Steve Ruffel, a representative of the GreenCube Group. “We are thrilled to be involved with organizations such as Abalimi-Harvest of Hope and Greenpop which do so much good for our communities and the environment, and look forward to strengthening these relationships.”
Farmers at Abalimi-Harvest of Hope pack hundreds of vegetable baskets to be delivered to pick-up points.